Dragonology Or Dracology, Science Of Study, Research On Dragons
of reading - words
Dragons have never ceased to fascinate men, so dragonology was born to study them.
The myth of dragons, which has existed since the dawn of humanity and is present in many cultures, dragonology (sometimes called dracology), the field whose purpose is to study and understand them, has existed for thousands of years. If at its origins the discipline has no name, it was in the 16th century that August Drako, an Austrian dragonologist, named it after the Latin draco and the Greek logos and not after his own name as one might think. He was also the first to conduct rigorous research, no longer based on popular beliefs.
Just as dragons are part of cultures, dragonology is initially a cultural practice before it becomes a true science. In the Paleolithic period, the first men represented them on the walls of caves, because the creature was already fascinating. They did not seek to study it, but had a strong fascination leading them to seek to represent it.
In antiquity, when we began to have real mythological stories about these creatures, it was said in Babylon that some witches had advanced knowledge about dragons, and could even communicate with them. These rumours then circulated in Greece, but this mysterious knowledge was said to be transmitted orally. So there were never any traces or documents attesting that they existed and what they knew about the subject.
It was not until the Middle Ages that dragonology became more of a discipline and the first books were written. Monks began to conduct secret research, both in their libraries and by travelling. Some noble scholars also conduct research, in order to know the weak points of dragons in order to fight them.
It was in the Enlightenment (18th century) that dragonology began to approach science. Men decide to devote their time to this field, leading various expeditions, sometimes dangerous to find information. Many left for the far reaches of the world, returning wounded or worse, losing their lives like Archibald Rutherford on a trip to the Himalayas. It is no longer a question of transmitting and studying stories and myths, but of really getting into the real world. Some researchers have written very precise texts on dragons in their constitution, their way of life. During this period, precisely in 1743, the first dragonology university in Scotland was created. The craze for dragons was such that the first class had more than a hundred students, which was significant for the time. Building on its success, this university lasted for two hundred years, closing in 1967 after an incident in one of the rooms dedicated to research on dragon blasts.
Dragonology emerged from this period completely rebuilt, no longer based on myths and vague narratives. Dragons are described more precisely and also more probably. However, there are still facts and elements reported by researchers whose veracity is not proven, such as the dragon egg brought back from the Amazon by Harald Grodubois in 1805. The researcher would have hatched this egg and raised the creature to study it, bringing back a lot of information on the subject.
While the field had an air of esoteric science, in the 20th century it became a real science. Dragonologists leave libraries to join cryptozoology laboratories, not being recognized by zoology, due to the lack of formal evidence of the past or present existence of dragons. Nevertheless, dragonology is now mentioned in very serious scientific journals and has become a recognized discipline. With modern technologies and knowledge, it now benefits from much more advanced tools than before. It is divided into several branches: ethology (behavioural study), physiology (anatomical study), biology, genetics, paleontology,..... Since 1950, university classes have once again opened their doors, as can be found in the prestigious institutions of Harvard, Oxford and Berkeley.
- Literature: The Book of Snakes (C. Gesner),
- The History of Snakes and Dragons (U. Aldrovandi)